After a significant investment from the Provincial government, Harbour Air will convert one aircraft in its fleet to an electric engine. The company already found a Swiss battery producer to partner with for the conversion.
Harbour Air operates a fleet of thirty-nine DHC de Havilland Beaver, Otter and Twin Otter’s along with a single Cessna Grand Caravan EX. If successful, the converted aircraft will be the first-ever passenger flight in an all-electric aircraft.
Harbour Air hopes to complete the work and start flying the plane by the end of 2022.
In addition, the company noted that it costs about $4 million per aircraft to convert each aircraft. However, the work will generate roughly 21 full-time jobs in BC. With work focused on refining the electric motor installation and battery systems for the plane.
In December 2019, Harbour Air CEO Greg McDougall flew a 750-HP electric-powered Harbour Air floatplane over the Fraser River. The short test flight was the world’s first all-electric commercial aircraft flight.
The aircraft and the conversion processes still need to be certified by Transport Canada.
CleanBC is providing part of the funding for the aircraft conversion. The provincial program will provide $1.6 million to the conversion and is part of a broader $8.18 million for Electric Advanced Research and Commercialization.